Thursday, May 5, 2011

Which Beach to Visit in Goa? Top 3 Beaches in Goa You'll Love

Top 3 Beaches in Goa

After three months of intense yoga practice at the Sivananda Ashram in Madurai, a nice break to enjoy some of the best beaches in Goa was not a bad idea at all.  If you would like some recommendations here you'll find my Top 3 Beaches in Goa.

Contrary to what I expected April was a great month to visit Goa. Fewer tourists, more accommodation available at a better price, and perfect weather.

Top 3 Beach Destinations in Goa

1.  Palolem Beach

There is no doubt, Palolem remains still my favorite Beach in Goa and in India. It is small, clean, tranquil with a greenish clear and calm sea, full of palm trees and delicious food. No wonder it is called "Paradise Beach".

I would also call it "Backpackers Paradise". Simple and cheap accommodation right on the beach, but you can still find a bit more luxurious hostels that keep that special rustic atmosphere.

If there is one beach in Goa that I had to recommend then that would be Palolem Beach.

Palolem Beach, Goa

Palolem Beach, Goa

2.  Mandrem Beach

A beautiful wide white sand beach. Very empty and relaxed with a couple of small rivers on the south crossing the beach towards the sea (I wonder how big they get during the monsoon).

Mandrem Beach, Goa
Mandrem Beach, Goa

I loved staying at Dunes guesthouse. Simple huts but cozy and very clean with a great service for about 600 rupees in low season. Mosquito nets, mosquito coils, water bottles, toilet papers and towels included. You don't see that too often on budget places!

There was no need to go anywhere since the hostel offers all the services that you might need. Comfortable accommodation, internet, lockers, a pretty good restaurant and even a Yoga Center with morning classes at 8 am. What else do I need?

Dunes, Mandrem Beach

Dunes, Mandrem Beach

Dunes, Mandrem Beach

3.  Vagator Beach

A beautiful white sand beach. But I prefer little Vagator, just south of Vagator, on the other side of the rocks. Nice to chill out and have lunch in any of the few shacks on the beach.

Vagator Beach, Goa
Vagator Beach, Goa

Little Vagator Beach, Goa
Little Vagator, Goa

Boon's Ark was an excellent choice to stay.

A beautiful place with very clean rooms (above Indian standards) with cable TV included and for a pretty good price. Around 600 rupees for a double room during the low season. Each room has a nice small terrace to enjoy breakfast.

Unfortunately, the guesthouse was not so close to the beach, but that was not a big problem since it was a nice walk.

Boons Ark Guesthouse Vagator Goa
Boons Ark Guesthouse, Vagator

Boons Ark Guesthouse Vagator Goa
Boons Ark Guesthouse, Vagator

Other Popular Beaches in Goa

1.  Ashvem Beach

Nothing like going for lunch at "La Plage", a French restaurant in Ashvem. And then laying down on the beach beads right in front of the restaurant, reading a book and enjoying the sea breeze.

Approximately 15 minutes walk south of Mandrem.

Ashvem Beach, Goa
Ashvem Beach, Goa

2.  Arambol Beach

25 minutes walk north from Mandrem. Not so pretty but if you are looking for some alternative nightlife then this is the place to be. Nice live shows in a few restaurants or bars.

Too bad Magic Park closes from April till October. A couple of friends recommended me this place. It seems to be a beautiful and cool spot for a yoga vacation.

Update: I returned to Arambol in 2016 to practice Iyengar yoga with Alpesh, for one month.  I learned a lot from Alpesh so I can definitely recommend him.

Arambol is a very laid back beach with lots of alternative things to do.  I really enjoy my stay there, however it is still not one of my favorite beaches to visit in Goa.

3.  Benaulim Beach

Another long wide beach. Not that clean and not so many options where to stay and on top of that not a good value for money, but it is a good option if you look for a place not so far away from the airport. About 35 minutes by taxi with no traffic

4.  Candolim Beach

This was actually the first stop. A huge long and wide beach packed with lots of shacks-restaurants along the beach. It was hard to choose one because there were so many but my favorite was Shark View. A bit more expensive than the others but they have the best banana pancakes that you can find.

Candolin Beach, Goa
Candolim Beach, Goa

Lobos Guesthouse. Not easy to find at all but it was definitively worth it. The owner was a really nice lady and the room on the 2nd floor of the gorgeous Portuguese house was small but cozy, clean, with fridge included and a nice balcony to sit and relax.

There was also a big terrace next to the room where I was able to do my own yoga practice.

It is just 5 minutes walking to the beach and 2 minutes walking to Yoga Bones, the Asthanga Yoga center in Goa owned by Rolf and Marci where I practiced for one week.

5.  Sinquerim Beach

Sinquerim beach is south of Candolim, about 20 minutes walking.  I prefer Candolim since it has a lot more options for where to eat.

Sinquerim Beach, Goa
Sinquerim Beach, Goa

6.  Baga Beach

North of Candolim but not that close to go on foot. It was quite packed with a lot of local tourists but if you want to go shopping then you can spend a few hours walking on the main road.

Baga Beach, Goa
Baga Beach, Goa

Suggested articles

Before traveling to Goa, I suggest you take a look at these blog posts including a few tips that might help you prepare for your next trip.

Which beaches do you recommend in Goa?

I spent one month in Goa visiting Candolim, Sinquerim, Baga, Vagator, Mandrem, Ashvem, Arambol, Benaulim, and Palolem Beach.

After visiting all these beaches I can easily tell that Palolem, Mandrem and Vagator are my Top 3 Beach Destinations in Goa.

Do you have any other beach to recommend in Goa? Please, don't hesitate to share which is your favorite beach and why in the comments section below.

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